Ohio is not a no-fault state – this is an important fact when dealing with insurance claims. However, many people who suffer injuries in a car accident don’t fully understand the implications of no-fault versus at-fault laws. In general, in an at-fault state like Ohio, car accident victims must make a claim on the at-fault driver’s insurance. If the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance, the other driver may use uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on their own policy. Note that one generally purchases this coverage in addition to standard insurance.
At Tittle & Perlmuter, we understand how intimidating it can be for victims to approach the responsible party’s insurance company to file a claim for losses. Our attorneys will fight for your rights against tough insurers to ensure you recover the full amount of financial compensation you deserve under the law.
Claims for Car Accident Injuries in an At-Fault State
A fault system determines who pays for the losses if a party is injured in a car accident. In a no-fault state, a victim must first file a claim with his or her own insurance company to recover compensation. Only after you’ve exhausted your own coverage amount can you file a claim against the responsible party.
As an at-fault state, Ohio does not require you to approach your own auto insurance company before pursuing the person whose actions caused your injuries. However, this may be easier in property damage claims only. Generally, you can file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurer and request compensation for your losses. However, insurance companies are businesses like any other: They don’t turn a profit by offering large awards to settle your claim. For this reason, you need a skilled lawyer to protect your interests. If settlement negotiations don’t result in an amount sufficient to cover your damages, an experienced car accident attorney will take the fight to court.
Damages in a Car Accident
There are two types of losses for which compensation is available under Ohio law:
- Economic Damages: You may suffer certain readily ascertainable losses as a result of your injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages. As proof of these damages, you can use the bills of your healthcare providers, pay stubs, and income tax returns.
- Non-Economic Damages: There are also losses that aren’t so easy to establish by documentation. You may still recover for damages, which may include pain and suffering, and emotional anguish. Other non-economic damages include loss of consortium, due to the impact your injuries have upon your valued relationships with family. To prove these types of losses, you may need medical experts to consult with and testify regarding your injuries. Car accident attorneys work with such experts when dealing with tough insurance companies and at trial.
Contact an Attorney for More Information on At-Fault Insurance Claims in Ohio
You may sustain considerable losses when you’re injured in a car accident, but you do have certain rights in Ohio. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages, putting you in a better financial position during these difficult times. A skilled attorney will advise you on your options for pursuing the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you have questions or would like a case review, please contact the Cleveland personal injury lawyers of Tittle & Perlmuter at 216-308-1522 or fill out our online contact form. We’re happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter in more detail.